Havilah, CA

Havilah School (1867)

Havilah School (1867)


Havilah served as the county seat of Kern County when the county was founded in 1866. In 1872 the county government was relocated fifty miles away to Bakersfield, where it remains today.

Havilah is considered a ghost town, despite that a few people still call it home.  A fire in the 1920s destroyed much of the town, now only two original structures remain from when the town was in its prime with a population of over 2,000 people, and the home of 187 businesses.  Along the road through town are several markers showing where buildings once stood.

In the 1960s two replica buildings were built, one was of the original Kern County Courthouse, and the other of the school. The replica courthouse serves as a museum and the school as a meeting place for the community.

The Havilah graveyard is on the north end of town, with roughly fifty marked graves dating from 1875-1910, and several unmarked.  A list of the known buried here can be found here.


Kern County Court House (1866)

Kern County Court House (1866) Havilah, CA


Old Havilah Cemetery

Old Havilah Cemetery


Interested in visiting this site?

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About the author

Jim Mattern

Jim is a scapegoat for the NPS, an author, adventurer, photographer, radio personality, guide, and location scout. His interests lie in Native American and cultural sites, ghost towns, mines, and natural wonders in the American Deserts.